Dunfermline Athletic

Lewis ready for Lichties

Friday, 25th Dec 2020

“We know that when it’s time to go, we will go and hurt teams going the other way.”

On loan Rangers player Lewis Mayo is looking forward to playing through the festive period for the first time in his career. The 20 year old trained over the Christmas period last season but then there was the winter break and he wouldn’t play a competitive match until he was loaned out to Partick Thistle in March. Lewis who has made seven appearances for Dunfermline this season explained that he was happy to sacrifice his Christmas in the cause of football:-

“This year, there’s no winter break, so this is new to me. As everyone knows, there’s not much going on outside of football right now. So, I’d probably rather keep myself busy with football. We’ve got a lot of games coming up, so it’s important we recover well because it’s going to be tough.”

Lewis has enjoyed playing for Dunfermline and his appearances do not include a single defeat although he agreed that at Dundee they made gave themselves a lot to do to comeback to draw 3-3.

“We made it hard for ourselves at Dundee but we were happy to get a point. Once we got the first goal we knew we could put a bit of pressure on. We’ve done that a few times this season, sitting tight until the end of the game and then really going for it.

“There’s a handful of games where, in spells, we’ve been under pressure and we’ve handled it quite well, just keeping it tight. We know that when it’s time to go, we will go and hurt teams going the other way.”

Possibly more important to Lewis is performing tight defensively as well and he feels that what they have done very well is their defensive shape:-

“We conceded three at the weekend, which is disappointing; two of them from set-pieces but I feel that we’ve not found ourselves being cut open very much.

“That comes, one, from the players on the pitch doing the work for each other and being organised, and, secondly, from the work we do in training in the week leading up to the game in preparation.”

An additional challenge at Dunfermline for centre back Lewis is finding a space in the team. One of the central defenders is the team captain Euan Murray and he has formed a successful partnership with Paul Watson. Right back Aaron Comrie was a near ever present last season but injury to the former St Johnstone man has presented an opportunity for Lewis. He admits that the position is something that’s new to him:-

“I’ve not really played there before. I’ve always naturally been a centre-back although I’ve played in centre-mid before. But I’ve enjoyed the games I’ve been playing and you can learn from playing in these positions, you learn more about the game and I’ve got experienced boys around me as well.”

His defence do a lot of shouting at him and they expect Lewis to do the same back to them. He continued:-

“As a defensive unit you need to be loud and give each other information and help each other out. I think the best way to do it is to be loud. If you’re going to go into a team as a young player you want to perform to the same level a senior player would.

“To do your role you are expected to pass on information and organise. It’s something I’ve always been told you can never do enough of. It’s definitely a learning curve for a young player, learning how to do it.”

With Greg Shields, Jason Dair and Steven Whittaker there is no shortage of coaches at the club with experience of playing in his position. Lewis finds that it is useful to talk to them:-

“Whitts is a good one because he’s on the pitch. He can give you little bits of advice and talk to you and help you out. For me, at this stage in my career it’s all about learning as much as you can.

“Before I came here, the plan was to go on loan again and go and get more experience. It’s about just trying to develop myself as a player, which I feel I’m on track with here. They’re in touch with me. If they can, someone will come and watch the game and I’ll get feedback. So, I’ll get feedback from Dunfermline and from Rangers.”

Lewis has still to score his first Dunfermline goal but he almost did in the last match against Saturday’s opponents, Arbroath, he recalled:-

“Euan Murray took a goal off me up at Arbroath. I don’t think it was quite over the line, so I think it is his goal, it was definitely going in. If there’s one bouncing on the line, I’ll get on the end of it.

“Being at home could change the game as well. It’s like every game you play in this league, it’s going to be very competitive and it’s going to be tough. We’ll be hoping we can go and put three against them again, score goals again, and keep it tighter than we did last weekend.”

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